Holidays Hate Us: An Honest Account of this Season

I wanted to write about Black Friday because it’s a hot topic. It’s a sure way to get you and your friends to click and read.

But I can’t. It seems too easy.

Holidays have always been difficult for me. When I was younger, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people, the amount of food and the amount of conversation.

I didn’t understand my role or my place in the plot of it all. Where did I stand or sit? Do I hug one relative and not the other?

Granted, I’m an over-thinker but after four years of living away from my family, I cannot say it’s easier.

I’ve become more comfortable in my skin therefore most of the aforementioned components are not so daunting. Yet, for so many of us, ‘home for the holidays’ continues to be a show about colliding worlds.

This holiday season is particularly difficult for my cast.

Every sector of my family is experiencing a form of hardship, including myself. Our smiles are heavy and it is difficult for any of us to be fully present. I’ve watched as eyes glaze over and tiny smiles fall quickly.

So many of us are losing what we know. Yet each of us arrive to the dinner table, certain to watch this season with this cast.

That doesn’t make it any less difficult.

Today I went through the last of my at-home belongings. As I shifted through yearbooks and volleyball supplies, I got lost in the person I once was. Every item reminded me of a girl who seemed so very different from who I am now or who I ever thought I would be.

When I went downstairs, the feeling seemed to be shared.

Often, we try to hide this feeling from our families. For this reason, holidays hate us. Because so many of us arrive, determined to prove ourselves yet there is nothing to prove.

You leave the set of your scripted life and you arrive to the award ceremony. Everyone arrives with their scripts about a successful plot. At the table you spend time justifying your network’s decision to air your show.

Until your series is cancelled and you’re still at this award show, justifying the absence of a script.

Or you can chose to sit and justify nothing. You can chose to be there and believe you are enough, unscripted.

I could be projecting a fairly personal feeling onto the feelings of those around me but I am a firm believer that no thought I have is one which has never been thought before.

Today I sat with family and showed them the little I know about my character. They did the same. Despite this, we all made the choice to stay and to continue to trust the script writers.

I think we struggle with holidays because we are often forced to face the parts of ourselves we spend most days hiding.

We try to hide them on holidays with food, gifts and small talk. But when everything as you know it is turned upside down, you’re forced to say, “Here I am, just like this. Take it or leave it.”

And when no one leaves, I think it’s difficult to accept.

It’s hard to understand that a group of people love you, in the best ways they know how, without you having to prove your worthiness.

Hit a point of writer’s block with your script and I think we all may be surprised in our network’s decision to renew our series. It’s shocking how they will continue to watch until the series finale, even after what feels like too many seasons.

My name is Katelynn. I write about what I know and what I experience. If you have a similar experience or would like to join the conversation, comment or email me at

Thanks for entering my twilight zone.

Until next time,